The faces of Maccabi Tel Aviv players said it all at the end of the 75:63 home loss tonight (Thursday) to the Red Star Belgrade in the second round of the Euroleague. The Yellows came into the game nervously and chased after the opponent from the opening, while the Serbs – who came without Mike Zirbes and Aron White – ran for a double.digit advantage already during the first quarter, and have not looked back since. Nikola Kalinic (19) and ex.Knight Walters (17) excelled while ballet host Scotty Wilbkin (18) Mathias Lasur made a reasonable debut (14).
During the game, some of the host’s fans expressed their anger at the players’ ability, with contempt whistles being heard more than once from some of the stands. In the fourth quarter, a small part of the crowd also left, something that did not happen during the period when Yannis Sapropoulos was coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Yannis Sapropoulos: “We have to congratulate the opponents who played well of us today. We knew it was a difficult team, which plays very well on defense. We started the game not well, we lost 8 balls in the first quarter, we scored only 10 points, we played at their pace. “It happened in our house, we have a long way to go. It’s too early to cry, we’ll have to work harder, learn from our mistakes. Our next goal is to connect, learn from this game, and not let it happen again.”
On his squad, the Greek said: “I trust my players, and how they work. I know our ability does not show it, but we work hard, I am optimistic that we will play much better. Our game is completely different. We have to learn from this game and learn how to play games “We are not in our good shape, the Corona effect is still in the team, it is not an excuse, it is the reality. We are not ready to play yet, we have a streak of games now. These games will help us get into the rhythm.”
Red Star coach Diane Radonic: “Congratulations to my players on their good game. We had problems before the first games of the season, we are still in the same situation, but we played a very good game defensively and also offensively.”
On the ability of Nate Walters, who stood out against his former team: “This is Knight’s best game in the Red Star, not just this season. At the start of the season there was a problem, because after a few days in preparation he was injured and in the last ten days he is progressing really well. Today. I expect him to give what we expected when we signed him. “
In the third round of the Euroleague, Maccabi Tel Aviv will play its first away game of the season, when it will host Milan in Italy.